Electrical Conductivity of Aqueous NaCl at High Pressure and Low Temperature: Application to Deep Subsurface Oceans of Icy Moons

YL Pan and WJ Yong and RA Secco, GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, 48, e2021GL094020 (2021).

DOI: 10.1029/2021GL094020

Sodium chloride (NaCl) may be an antifreeze in subsurface oceans of icy moons, so its electrical conductivity provides information on properties and processes complementing models of internal structure. We conducted experimental measurements of electrical conductivity of aqueous NaCl (NaCl(aq)) at 212-1,713 MPa and 233-295 K in a multianvil press, simulating high-pressure and low-temperature (HPLT) conditions of the subsurface oceans of icy moons such as Titan and Ganymede. A numerical model is proposed with log sigma=-2.486+902.605/T+1.765log(c*rho 0/(1+0.05844c*))+1.557log rho+2log?0-log(10?0+5584.2(c*rho 0/(1+0.05844c*))1/2), where sigma is the conductivity (S/m), T the temperature (K), c* the NaCl(aq) molality (mol/kg), rho the water density (g/cm(3)), rho(0) the NaCl(aq) density at standard condition (g/cm(3)), ?(0) is the limiting equivalent conductance (S cm(2) equiv(-1)). We used this to generate conductivity distributions over a wide range of HPLT and at different concentrations. Significantly high electrical conductivity and large temperature sensitivity allow our data to provide useful experimental reference for future flyby observations.

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